Blackeye Beans, Southern Style, 1942

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the US Department of Agriculture’s charts meant to help women find a balance between sticking to a budget and buying enough healthy foods for their families. Plan A included more potatoes, dairy, and meat. Plan B had more cereals and vegetables, and Plan C included more beans, fat, and eggs. The May 1942 issue of Woman’s Day included a week’s worth of meals created using Plan A. The June issue did the same for Plan B.

You can find the previous posts here:

Meal Planning with the Government

First Monday Menu: Feeding Your Family in 1942

More Meal Planning, 1942

Perhaps the series was not successful because the July 1942 issue didn’t mention Plan C at all. The August issue included an article full of bean dishes called “Cheap Main Dishes with Dried Beans and Lentils” (tested in July 1942). Since we know that Plan C was heavy on beans, fat, and eggs, perhaps they just refocused the article and made it into a bean article instead of talking about the USDA’s food plans.

I’m going to include one of those recipes here for you today so it will at least feel like we are finishing up our series. Here is a black-eyed pea recipe that might very well have been included in a week of Plan C inspired menus.


These were delicious. We used cayenne pepper and it really packs a nice bit of spiciness into this versatile black-eyed pea dish. It’s an easy dish to take to a potluck and it goes with almost anything. Double the recipe and grab a bag of corn tortilla chips to turn the leftovers into a tasty dip the next day.

A common assumption is that wartime food must have been bland, but recipes like this one challenge that with big, bold flavor. We eat black-eyed peas regularly, so this will be a nice recipe to add to our recipe box.

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